- 01 Jun 19
Returning from the land down under, Kodaline are back home on Dublin's North-side. It seems they brought the Australian good weather with them, for what proved to be a superb opening night at St. Anne's Park, in Raheny!
St. Anne’s Park in Raheny is made for gigs like this. With the weather on our side, the venue is a sight to see, with towering daffodils and tulips adding gaiety and colour. Summer is here, and what better way to kick it off than in the company of Kodaline and friends?
The supporting acts stimulate the festival-style atmosphere. Rising stars Flynn kick off the show, and they are followed by 'grumpy electro pop' whiz, Roe from Derry. They both do well enough to confirm their status as promising young talents. They may have much to learn, but if they get it right, a bright future is just over the horizon.
James Morrison takes to the stage. He cuts an impressive figure, and performs well. There's no shortage of big songs in the Warwickshire man's set, but for me the highlight is his rendition of 'I Won't Let You Go' – the first single from his third album, The Awakening. Overall, this feels like the perfect build-up to the main action...
A palpable tension can be felt in the air, as the crowd waits for Kodaline to appear.
The sky turns dusty blue: dusk is falling when Steve, Mark, Vincent and Jason rush onto the stage to be greeted by wild applause. This is a home-town crowd and they're well up-for-it. The band break into 'Honest', the lead single from 2015 album Coming Up For Air and it is brilliant first salvo.
The have started as they mean to go on! The show is brimming with chart and fan favourites, including superb versions of 'Brother', 'Love Like This', 'Head Held High' and their most recent smash, 'Raging'.
At 20 past 10, Steve announces that the evening has drawn to a close, and the band disappear off-stage as the crowd begin to howl for more. They re-emerge back to whoops and hollers. At this juncture, Steve convinces everyone to break into a recital of 'happy birthday' for Dave, a guitarist who is now “basically a part of the band.” There's a hint of a smile on Dave's face, but he's clearly mortified at the attention.
“There’s no better show than a hometown show, so thank you very much!” Steve yells into the mic. As North-side Dubliners themselves, St. Anne’s Park is a fitting venue for their homecoming. The band's Fingal pride is on show tonight.
The opening chords of ‘All I Want’ begin. It's the song that skyrocketed the band to fame years ago when it was played on US show Grey’s Anatomy and in the young adult film The Fault In Our Stars. The raw emotion of the song encourages everyone to sing along, many clutching onto their friends while they wail the lyrics in unison.
And then they strike the opening chords of the ultimate Kodaline song, 'High Hopes' – which has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube. Concert-goers' voices may have gone hoarse since the beginning of the concert, but that isn't going to stop them from singing along. After all, right from the start, this gig has been full of audience participation – and they aren't going to disappoint the band on the final song.
Kodaline end the track with wildly percussive strumming of the guitars and a remarkable drum solo from Vincent. Exhausted, the lads from Swords bow to fans at the front of the stage, exchanging kind words and handshakes with those in the front row. The backing track of the guitar is on loop even after Kodaline make their final bow and depart.
Suddenly, a flash of light shoots up into the sky and explodes into a vision of golds, greens, blues and reds. For the next five minutes, people’s eyes stay glued to the sky where the firework show continues, a fantastic ending to an amazing gig.
If you’re going tonight, make sure to stay till the very end. Kodaline put on one hell of a show from start to finish – and the finale is not to be missed.